Jul 1 2010 By Matthew Leslie
AS TOUGH as an All-Blacks scrum is the verdict on West batsman Neil Bisman after he bounced back from a horror injury to smash his team to derby glory.
As featured in The Glaswegian last week, Bisman in trying to prevent a boundary slid into a bollard outside of the pitch where he suffered a bone-deep cut to his left leg.
It seemed this latest setback would be the final chapter on Bisman's stay in Glasgow having missed the opening month of the season due to red-tape delaying his visa.
However, anyone who has watched the All-Blacks rugby team will know that Kiwis are made of strong stuff and Bisman delighted all at West by declaring himself available to face city rivals Clydesdale.
The smiles on the Hamilton Crescent faithful grew wider as Bisman's unbeaten 40 led West to a superb comeback to clinch a four-wicket victory on the last ball.
To say this victory was needed would be an understatement as West had not won a league game since the opening day of the season.
Bisman said: "We're all chuffed about the win and I'm just pleased I was able to do my bit - although you wouldn't have thought it possible given what happened the previous week.
"Believe it or not, the injury wasn't as bad as it was made out to be.
"Puncture wounds sound bad but given that it was treated pretty quickly the chances were that I would soon be available again.
"Yes you could see the bone but to be honest I wasn't looking at it at the time - which was probably just as well.
"As to how it happened, I suppose it was my fault for being too enthusiastic but I felt I had a genuine chance of stopping the ball crossing the line for four runs.
"If I had succeeded and we'd won by one run, that could have made the difference as matches can go to the wire.
"That is why I flung myself at the ball. However, I didn't time my sliding dive to perfection and the ball crossed the boundary rope. Unfortunately, due to the momentum generated by my attempt, I carried on sliding and crashed in to one of the bollards on the perimeter of the ground.
"The club had started work on removing the bollards on the other side of the ground but sadly for me, work on the other half was not planned for later on this year.
"However, I was back in training a few days after and after a session in the nets, the leg felt fine and I declared myself available.
"I'm sure if I was a fast bowler I'd have rested it a while longer given the amount of impact generated on that leg when bowling but as a batsman, I was able to come in and do my job."
Which was exactly what he did as despite a fine start in chasing Clydesdale's score of 255 for seven, West looked at one stage as if they were heading for defeat.
Earlier Dale's score came thanks to Kamran Sajid's 79 and M.Ali's half-century despite a middle order collapse that saw West's Dave McNulty take four for 45.
Even though Dale took two early wickets, West skipper Ian Young (70) and Dan Williams (65) seemed to be steering them to victory before they, along with McNulty, fell in quick succession.
That left Bisman and fellow Kiwi Leighton Burtt to dig deep and needing six runs off the final over, sealed the win with a ball to spare.
Clydesdale skipper Harmanjit Singh conceeded his team didn't put enough pressure on West's batsmen.
He said: "Normally, 250-odd is usually enough to win it but we didn't bowl well and our fielding was not as good as it normally is.
"As it was, they were able to keep the scoreboard ticking over and while we had some guys unavailable to us as they were called up for Scotland, that's no excuse because we have enough strength in depth to cope with such a scenario.
"This situation allows you to find out what your reserves are made of and we found out a lot more than we expected.
"We need to get our inconsistancy sorted out as a win seems to depend on which Dale turns up."
Elsewhere, despite Carl Huyser's half-century, Poloc fell to their third defeat in a row as they lost at Drumpellier by seven wickets.